Prepping hardwood floor planks is an essential part of the process.
A lot of people will rush into a flooring project without understanding what the “acclimation” phase has to encompass.
This includes how hardwood flooring is stored when it is not in use. You will want to account for this and learn how to stack hardwood flooring for acclimation the right way.
To stack hardwood flooring for acclimation, it’s best to place them in the room, cross-stack the boxes, and leave the hardwood floor planks exposed to the environment. Continue to check the moisture content to ensure it’s in equilibrium with the home.
If you attempt to use the hardwood planks straight out of the box, you will end up in a situation where the planks expand rapidly once installed.
This is bad for the flooring and it will lead to cracking and/or splitting.
This article will take a look at how to stack hardwood flooring for acclimation and what to keep track of during the process.
Best Hygrometer For Hardwood Flooring (EDITOR’S CHOICE)
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Steps On How To Stack Hardwood Flooring For Acclimation
1. Remove Everything Out Of The Room
You will want to start by removing everything out of the room where the hardwood floor is going to be stacked.
Storing hardwood flooring the right way is one of the most important things a person has to do.
Hardwood planks are hygroscopic, this means they accumulate moisture from the environment. You have to be careful to ensure the planks don’t expand once installed, which can happen if you don’t acclimate the hardwood.
The first step is going to be to make sure there is nothing else in the room.
You want to give the hardwood planks enough space to breathe in the room. Nothing should be getting in their way.
If you do place the planks in the room with other items, this can end up creating a situation where the acclimation phase is prolonged.
2. Cross-Stack The Boxes
Now, it is time to stack the boxes.
Take the hardwood flooring boxes, place them on the floor, and make sure they are open from the top.
You want to ensure there is enough space for the planks to breathe when they are set on the floor. Otherwise, you are going to drag out the acclimation phase and it will push back everything.
When it’s time to stack the hardwood flooring boxes, you are going to cross-stack them.
This means you will stack the boxes on top of each other.
One box will face North, while the other box will face East. Continue to follow this pattern while stacking the boxes on the floor.
3. Leave The Wood Planks Open
When the boxes are stacked, you want to ensure there is enough space for air to flow through.
This is how you are going to maximize airflow.
Moisture content will have to be even across the entire stack and that is only possible when you are leaving the boxes open.
Hardwood floor acclimation is critical and it has to be done with a purpose. This includes keeping track of the moisture content when the boxes are open on the floor.
Take a reading beforehand and then continue to monitor it as time goes on.
4. Keep Track Of The Room’s Moisture Content
You will want to set up a hygrometer in the room as the hardwood begins to acclimate.
The goal is to have the moisture content in the hardwood be the same as the moisture content in the room.
There has to be equilibrium.
This is why monitoring both the wood and the room is going to be important.
How do you check the moisture content in the hardwood flooring? You are going to place the hygrometer in the boxes and take readings. Compare these readings to the rest of the room.
Once they are equal, you are good to go and the hardwood flooring has fully acclimated.
Does Hardwood Acclimate In Box?
Hardwood can acclimate in a box, but it tends to be a drawn-out process. Airflow is restricted when the planks are not exposed to the environment. It’s best to open the boxes and cross-stack them.
These are the main tips on how to stack hardwood flooring for acclimation.
When stacking hardwood flooring for acclimation, start by opening the boxes and cross-stacking them on the floor. Set a hygrometer and take readings for both the boxes and the room. Continue to leave them “as-is” until both readings are equal.
The timeline is going to vary depending on the specific conditions surrounding your room.
Some will be done within three days, while others are going to take a bit longer. Continue to monitor the readings until you are satisfied.
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